Surviving the Holidays (In One Piece)
The holidays have become synonymous with happiness. During this time, we are overwhelmed with images of cheerful music, smiling faces, and desirable values (such as being giving, caring, selfless, and appreciative). The problem is that this atmosphere is highly idealized, perfect, and oftentimes, unattainable. Additionally, these images are problematic because they do not speak to the considerable stress that often comes with the holidays.
If you struggle to fit in with this picture, the holidays can be quite challenging. You may find yourself burdened with the following common feelings:
I want you to know that this holiday season can, and deserves, to be different.
Here are some practical ways to reduce your stress, as well as increase your tranquility and happiness:
Recognize and successfully plan for problems
Consider your negative experiences from previous holidays. You may remember, for instance, how you’ve repeatedly endured stress and anxiety around certain family members. Once you develop a list of several common and repeated obstacles to your sanity, you can then develop ways to better navigate them.
We are continually misled to believe that the holidays must be a time of constant happiness and warmth. It’s impossible to always be happy, so you want to have realistic expectations of yourself and your family members.
Maintain your routine
Developing and sustaining a routine provides us with a sense of stability and peace. The holidays can threaten your routine with such tasks as shopping for gifts and getting together with family for dinners. You will want to combat this by maintaining your routine to the best of your ability.
Devote time to those who appreciate you
When we have the support and love from those who value us, it makes the difficult times that much easier to overcome. These loved ones can help ground and calm you, which are so crucial during the holidays.
Set and maintain reasonable boundaries
Routinely check in with yourself regarding the endeavors in which you can realistically partake. It’s perfectly fine to say no when you’re asked to take on too much. Go ahead and give yourself permission to say no at the appropriate times.
I am here to help you learn more about how to use these, and other, helpful skills to improve your holiday experience.
If you would like to schedule your first session, call Jordan Zipkin, LMFT, at 954-391-5305.
I look forward to speaking with you and helping you along your journey toward health and happiness!